Best of all, summer comes with a list of things to do without price tags – you just have to know where to look.
Here is our selection of free things to do in Cape Town this Summer …
CAPE TOWN WALKING TOURS
Enjoy free tours, on foot, from Green Market Square every day, 365 days a year (look out for the green umbrellas) at 11h00 and 14h00.
The park and biodiversity garden on Green Point Common are a highlight of any visit to Cape Town, and completely free.
BREE STREET’S ISLANDS
In the last three years Bree Street has become ultra fashionable, its wide road strewn on either side with pubs, bistros, restaurants, coffee shops and boutiques.
Down the centre are a series of fever-tree-laden paved islands that serve as smoke-break hangouts, and act as a great shady way to explore the road.
Surfing the waves of one of South Africa’s most famous surf beaches comes absolutely free.
You’ll need to know how to surf, and you’ll need a wetsuit. But those waves just keep coming, which is why Muizenberg beach is considered one of the best surfing spots in the world.
There is a paved walkway on the water’s edge of False Bay between Muizenberg and Kalk Bay, passing alongside the pretty painted bather change rooms overlooking the tidal pool of St James.
Spend some time browsing Kalk Bay’s antique stores and then return by train.
Cape Town’s local libraries are the city’s undiscovered gems.
Librarians are friendly, there are surprisingly numerous recently published books on the shelves, and they host holiday programmes for kids.
Central Library has a state of the art American Corner that includes a coffee bar, high-speed Wifi, laptop bank, sound recording studio and video production equipment.
Find it on the corner of Parade and Darling Streets.
On the first Thursday of every month explore the art galleries and cultural attractions of Cape Town’s central city until late.
When it started four years ago there were only six galleries on the map, including a pop-up exhibition. Today there are well over 20.
There is no guided tour, but you can pick up a map and highlights and design your own route.
Just be sensible: good boots, sunscreen, hats, plenty of water, preferably a map, and leave your valuables at home.
In the heart of Cape Town’s southern suburbs is a forest well known to locals, who explore it often with their dogs, or in groups.
This freely walkable area in the middle of Cape Town’s city bowl is not a mall at all, but a pedestrianised area.
Walk it on Thursdays and you’ll stumble upon the weekly independent local food market.
Every year the Cape Minstrels (Coon Carnival) take to the street for their Second New Year Street Parade.
Usually on the 2 January, last year’s was three days in a row. If you’re here over New Year, don’t miss the process that snakes its way up Darling, Adderley, Wale and Rose streets.
Some of the best beaches in the world, and they’re all free!
Watch the city’s major cycle tour from the sidelines (city bowl), or the comfort of a grassy bank (Kendal Road turnoff) in March every year.
In March, cyclists ride 109 km around the Cape Peninsula through some of the most incredible scenery ever.
THE GROUNDS OF THE OLDEST WINE ESTATE
Stroll down Groot Constantia’s avenue of oak trees, some of them over 300 years old (one is completely hollow), drink in the views from the edge of the orchards, or picnic under the trees (you can buy a picnic from Simon’s Deli).
You might even be able to slip into the tasting hall to catch a glimpse of the permanent art exhibition.
NOBEL SQUARE PHOTO MOMENTS
Have your photograph taken with Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Albert Luthuli or FW de Klerk.
The larger than life bronze statues of four Laureates are impressive.
De Groote Kerk, South Africa’s oldest church on Adderley Street, doesn’t advertise it but if you pop into the church during opening hours there is usually a guide present to take you through the building’s finer architectural highlights.
And it’s free of charge (you are requested to leave a donation).
THE FIRING OF THE NOON DAY GUN
Every day in the city bowl at 12pm there is a big bang (it can take you by surprise if you’re not expecting it).
To witness the event head up Signal Hill, just before the red flag goes up, to hear the history behind the kaboom (there are two cannons; the second is backup).
Their firing is 100% accurate, set off from the South African Astronomical Observatory.
JAZZ FESTIVAL OPENING CONCERT
The pre-festival free community concert opens the annual Jazz Festival (Mar/April).
It’s held every year at Greenmarket Square in the heart of the city, drawing thousands of music lovers for a taste of the festival. World-class performers for the people of Cape Town.